From Stories To Data, Putting It All Together!

Meet Whitney Larson,
Annual Campaign and Grants Manager

How long have you been with Twin Cities R!SE?

I will have been with Twin Cities R!SE for seven months on August 2nd!

What brought you to Twin Cities R!SE or how did you find out about TCR?

When my husband and I first decided that we’d like to move to the Twin Cities from Denver, CO, I started researching nonprofits in the area. Twin Cities R!SE really stood out as a results-oriented organization creating positive change, and a great community partner. I was really hoping that I would get the chance to work here someday. Then, last October (almost a full year before we had initially anticipated moving!), TCR posted my current job. Even though it was way ahead of schedule, I knew I had to at least try – and here I am! We moved over the New Years holiday weekend, and I started on January 2, 2018!

What were you doing before Twin Cities R!SE?

I was the Manager of Foundation and Corporate Relations at another awesome nonprofit in Denver, CO, a two generation self-sufficiency program for low-income, single-parent families!

Tell me what excites you about coming to work every day?

I’m always excited to hear about the amazing work and successes of our program teams and, more importantly, TCR participants. One of the things I love is that it is literally part of my job to get these stories, as well as data from our evaluations team, in order to put it all together and paint a picture for foundations and donors of what we do here at TCR. It constantly gives me perspective about why I do what I do.

What is your personal affirmation?

On of my favorite affirmations is from Marian Wright Edelman, a woman who has worked tirelessly for the rights of children and those who are disadvantaged. A portion of a quote from her hangs above my desk, and reminds me that, basically, all the small things add up, and even on the days I might feel like the world’s problems (or even just our community's problems!) are too big, even small actions do make a difference.

Her quote reads, “It is so important not to let ourselves off the hook or to become apathetic or cynical by telling ourselves that nothing works or makes a difference. Every day, light your small candle. The inaction and actions of many human beings over a long time contributed to the crises our children face, and it is the action and struggle of many human beings over time that will solve these crises with God’s help. So every day, light your small candle.”

Tell me about a time when you knew that TCR was a special place?

The first time I got to attend a bell ringing was really special. The program graduate ringing the bell was not only celebrating a year of successful employment, but employment at another community nonprofit where she helps other families achieve educational and economic goals. It was awesome to see a program graduate not only be successful, but also go into nonprofit work and “pay it forward” in a sense, helping others to achieve what she has. It’s always amazing to see the great things our program participants are achieving – they truly are the heart and soul of this program!

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I love to bake sweet treats for my coworkers – or anyone, really! I actually won the baking competition twice at the county fair when I was a kid, once with ginger crinkle cookies and then again with zucchini muffins with caramel cream cheese frosting.

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